Column: Our faith must be tended if it is to grow

by Matt Karr

I take great pride in my lawn. I mow my yard regularly. Pick up leaves. I power rake it a couple of times a year. I put down fertilizer, insect and weed control, and try to keep it looking good.

Usually this time of year, the grass is looking great. However, this year it is brown. It is brown because of the lack of rain. So despite my efforts, my lawn is in need of some help.

Our spiritual lives need to be tended to in the same way our yards need care. We need to make efforts to pray, read Scripture, participate in the sacraments, and take time to study the Catholic faith if we want to continue to grow in our love of God and of others. However, we are dependent on the “rain” of the Holy Spirit in our lives if we are going to bear fruit.

Thanks be to God that the Father is not like Mother Nature. He is liberal in pouring out the grace of the Holy Spirit upon us in all seasons! If we are going through a spiritual drought, it is not generally because of a failure on God’s part. If our spiritual lives are struggling, we need to take a look at the time we are putting into prayer, study, and participating in the life of the church. Lucky enough for us, our God is rich in mercy and compassion and, if we return to him, he can be counted on to do his part!

One way that we can grow in our faith is by learning more about the God in whom we believe. The archdiocese has partnered with a great institution, the Maryvale Institute, to offer courses of study in our Catholic faith. One of the great benefits of the Maryvale courses is that much of the study can be done at home!

This January we will begin three courses of study: a one-year course on RCIA catechesis for those teaching or wanting to teach in the RCIA process; a one-year study course on evangelization and ministry in the family, specifically designed for parents and grandparents who want to grow in their ability to hand on the faith in the family; and a three-year master’s degree in catechesis and religious education.

No matter who you are or where you are in your knowledge of the faith, I am sure that one of these courses would be beneficial in helping you keep your spiritual life healthy and growing.

If you are interested in learning more about the Maryvale courses and other offerings, please visit our website at:, or call me directly at (913) 721-1570, ext. 433.

About the author

Matt Karr

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